The future is here, but not for Sun

Sun's Computational Theologist (seriously, that is his title), Gilad Bracha, comes across as a little clueless in his latest blog post. Maybe that is the Theologist part of him speaking up.

He sets up an elaborate straw-man argument that presents web server apps as the nearly exclusive useful domain of continuations, and assures us that rich web interfaces will make the need for continuations obselete.

I dig that he says that "In time, entire applications will be downloaded and provide a full GUI in the context of a single page." I wonder if he knows that that time is now, via Flex and XUL and OpenLaszlo? Otherwise, though, there is more bunk in his post than is worth de-bunking.

Don Box gives it a half-hearted go, pointing out the there are things like workflow that require continuations. Tim Bray takes the opportunity to cheer for today's web apps, saying "Web UIs are drastically constrained, offer a paucity of controls, and a enforce a brutally linear control flow; and these are good things." Then he goes on to agree with Gilad's overly simplistic argument.

Ugh. The future belongs to rich web apps that combine the best of both web-based GUI's and traditional HTML. And continuations will be around for a long, long time. Resumable workflows are the stuff of life. Maybe Computational Theologists should stop rationalizing the limitations of their VM's and keep counting angels on the heads of pins.

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Update: Check out Don Box's comment within. Welcome, Don! Also, Avi Bryant gives a lengthy and very cogent response to all of this on his blog.  

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One thought on “The future is here, but not for Sun

  1. I’d characterize my post as “rushed due to my kids wanting bagels this morning” not half-hearted, but then again, I was here when I wrote it.

    Either way, I agree there’s more here than just cloning (or dissing) seaside & co.

    DB

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